The little known Indian national differently-abled cricket team is set to take part in the Bengaluru Midnight Marathon, which will be held in the city on December 8 and 9. The marathon, which has been dubbed as the 'Run for the Differently Abled', will see members of the wheelchair cricket team take part in the 5k for persons with disabilities, which was introduced in the event this year.
The Indian National Differently-Abled Cricket team specialises in wheelchair cricket, where para-athletes or players in a wheelchair play the sport by the same rules as international cricket with lighter balls. As the theme of the marathon has brought the team in the spotlight, the members of the team want to grab the opportunity to bring recognition to the sport. Speaking to TNM, Shiva Prasad, vice-captain of the team who is from Bengaluru, says, “The idea of participating in the marathon is to promote cricket among persons with disabilities and let more people know about wheelchair cricket. This type of cricket needs a lot of support and we hope the platform will put the wheelchair cricket in the spotlight.”
India's differently-abled cricket team, formed in 2011, has had streaks of success in all national and international tournaments they have participated.
“We were requested by the organisers to be a part of the marathon for people with disabilities. This will showcase the struggles that people with disabilities go through. We have been able to defeat wheelchair cricket teams from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Singapore and Pakistan this year and have remained unbeaten so far. We are set to play in the Asia Cup next,” says Somjeet Singh, captain of the team.
In addition to the 5k for people with disabilities, the event also includes a half-marathon, marathon, a 10k run and a 5k IT City Fun Run.
The marathon is a fundraiser event organised by Rotary Bangalore IT Corridor (RBITC) and the funds will be used for various initiatives focused on spreading awareness and programmes that will benefit persons with disabilities.
“This year’s theme was decided to help the community of people with disabilities with the proceeds of the marathon as well as raise awareness for them. It is inspiring and humbling to see the participants with disabilities run with such zeal," Gul Mohammed Akbar, Race Director said.
Abhishek Mishra, President of RBITC said that the funds will also be used for community services in the Whitefield area, including developing schools, provide drinking water, set up solar panels, supporting surgeries of the spine, eye, brain and heart, polio vaccination drives, mid-day meals for government school children, environmental and education projects.
Alongside professional runners from India and other countries, residents of the city are set to take part in the marathon.
Interested persons can register for the marathon here or register directly at the EXPO from December 4 to 7 or at KTPO on December 8 until 4 pm. The events will begin at 5 pm and go on till early morning on Sunday.